Hives Treatment and Medications
Hives symptoms are usually mild and in most cases, they never really require hives treatment. However, some hives symptoms can become and persistent and troublesome hence the need to seek for hives treatment.
The most frequent hives treatment available over the counter or by prescription is antihistamines. These prescription drugs work by blocking the effect of histamines-a chemical substance underneath the skin that causes hives symptoms such as blotches.
Antihistamines that are low-sedating or non-sedating are preferred in the treatment of hives because they are quite effective, lasts long and have few side effects. For treatment of hives in children, an allergist may recommend that the child takes a combination of two or three antihistamines together so as to ease the symptoms. Sometimes anti-itch salves may be given to the child to go along with the antihistamine medication.
Severe urticaria treatment may require temporary medication with an immune modulator such as prednisone. Severe hives can also be treated with corticosteroid medication such as prednisolone. Corticosteroids suppress the immune system so as to lessen the symptoms of urticaria. The possible side effects of taking corticosteroid tablets to get rid of hives are increased appetite, mood change, weight gain and insomnia (difficulty sleeping).
Your child should avoid taking corticosteroid medication for long-term, as it can lead to a wide range of side effects and complications. Side effects can range from high blood pressure (hypertension), glaucoma, cataracts to diabetes.
If the child’s reactions include swelling of tongue or lips, or they have trouble breathing, then your allergist may prescribe epinephrine (adrenaline). It is an auto-injector the child keeps on the hand at all times. These symptoms can signal a potential of anaphylaxis- a fatal allergic reaction that impairs the child’s breathing and sends the body into a shock. Anaphylaxis can only be treated with epinephrine.
If your child develops hives and the injector is not nearby, they should immediately be taken to an emergency room. Even after using an auto-injector, children with hives should go to an emergency room.
Other common medications used to get rid of hives in children include:
The types of antihistamines you obtain from the pharmacist are called H1 antihistamines. However, other types of antihistamines, including H2 antihistamines are available. H2 antihistamines are majorly used to treat chronic hives because they narrow blood vessels, helping to reduce skin’s redness and bulging. H2 antihistamines side effects are rare but can include a headache, diarrhea, and dizziness.
Leukotriene receptor antagonists
These are types of medications given to children to help reduce the redness or swelling of the skin. Leukotriene receptor antagonists have rare side effects and are used as a long-term alternative to corticosteroid tablets.
Ciclosporin is a powerful medication that functions in a similar fashion as corticosteroid by suppressing the harmful effects of the immune system. However, it has side effects that include hypertension, kidney problems, headaches, involuntary shaking (tremors) and increased vulnerability to infections such as UTIs and chest infections.
This is a newer medication becoming available for urticaria that doesn’t respond to antihistamines. Omalizumab, given through an injection, is thought to reduce the antibody that plays a part in hives.